Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Located on the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan in Leelanau and Benzie counties near Empire, Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the United States. A visit to the dunes in summer, spring, and fall is good for camping, swimming, picnicking, canoeing and kayaking. In winter, visitors can snowshoe, cross-country or downhill ski, or snowboard. 

Driving along Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. 

Driving along Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. 

The glacier shaped dunes can stand at over 450 feet. Popular attractions in the park include the dune climb, the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, Glen Haven Maritime Museum and Life Saving Station, canoe trips on the Crystal and Platte Rivers, and the biking and hiking trails along the dunes. 


When I visited Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in June 2017, I drove the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive and stopped along at different lots to get different views of the dunes and the lake. While I had seen Lake Michigan from the Wisconsin side before, the lake here takes on a whole different perspective: beautiful cyan blue and endless blue and cloud-studded skies. 


The sunrises and sunsets at Sleeping Bear Dunes are supposed to be spectacular. I drove from Grand Rapids, so I was there during the middle of the day and I just beat an afternoon rainstorm. I would love to come back sometime and explore more of the dunes.